Roast X-mas chicken with gravy and pork and merguez stuffing.


This recipe is inspired from Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas turkey. We tried it a few times, and we like it better without the apricots. And we like chicken better than turkey! Here are the three parts!

Stuffing

Here is the video for visuals:
1 lb ground pork
salt and pepper
1 large apple, grated
(in the original recipe there were apricots)
about a handful of pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly chopped
zest of 1 lemon
a handfull of chopped parsley
olive oil
a lot of fresh sage leaves
2 merguez sausages

Mix ground pork, grated apple, pistachios, zest and parsley together. Add salt and pepper, On a large sheet of aluminum, drizzle olive oil and arrange the sage leaves right side down so they stick to the oil and overlap in two rows so they form a rectangle of sorts the length of 1.5 to two merguez sausages placed end to end. Season. Spread half of the pork mixture onto the leaves, run your finger down the middle to make a groove for the sausages. Place sausages in groove and cover with remaining pork. Wrap foil around the stuffing, twisting ends to seal. Roll package to get a tight and even log shape. IF making ahead, refrigerate at this stage. Place in a baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 400 F for about 40 minutes. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.

Chicken

Here is the video in case you need visual cues.
1 chicken (or Turkey, but we prefer chicken)
salt and pepper
2 onions, peeled and halved
2 lemons
3 garlic cloves crushed
small bunch of parsley chopped
375 gr unsalted butter at room temp.
1 tbsp olive oil
3 bay leaves
bacon slices

Preheat oven to 430 F. Prepare herb butter by mixing butter with salt and pepper,  parsley, zest of 2 lemons, juice of 1 lemon, crushed garlic, olive oil and parsley. Set aside.
Season chicken cavity, stuff with onions, 1 lemon cut in two and bay leaves. Loosen skin on the breast with your hands, being gentle so as not to tear. Do the same with the thighs. Stuff half the butter mixture between the skin and meat and gently massage the butter into hard to reach areas. Place bird in roasting tray (not glass!) breast side up. Spread rest of butter onto bird, season with salt and pepper then drizzle a bit of olive oil. If preparing ahead, cover with foil and refrigerate.

Roast turkey in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Take bird out of oven, and place bacon strips over breast. Lower heat to 360 F and cook until done (use thermometer! it avoids errors), they say 30 minutes per kg, but it always takes more time here! When done, remove from oven, let chicken rest under foil. Remove parson’s nose (the butt) and wings for the gravy. Remove lemon and onion from cavity for gravy and bacon from breast!

Gravy

This has got to be the best tasting gravy I have ever eaten. here is a link to the youtube video in case you need visual cues.

3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 fresh tomatoes chopped
1 cup apple cider (I never have this in house so I end up using leftover pear wine someone once gifted us)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup walnuts chopped

Drain the roasting pan juices and reserve. Heat up roasting pan on the stove and add all the stuff you took from the roasted chicken- chopped up bacon, chopped up lemon and onion. Add 2 sprigs of rosemary and tomatoes. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add wings and parson’s nose to pan and stir. Pour in cider and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits on bottom of pan. Reduce by half then add reserved juices. Reduce once more by half. Crush everything with a potato masher to bring out their juices. Pour in chicken broth, bring to a boil and add remaining rosemary. In your gravy boat, place walnuts. Strain gravy into boat and serve.

Bon appetit!

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